Rediscovering the power of design

22 April 2021

“The New European Bauhaus is a project of hope to explore how we live better together after the pandemic,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in January this year, announcing the EU’s intention to kick-start a new scheme to help the continent’s recovery.

But what this means exactly is still unclear. This should change, however, with the New European Bauhaus conference, kicking off today.

EU leaders and major figures in business, architecture, climate and beyond will lay out exactly what they mean by New European Bauhaus. In any case, this will be centred around three words: beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive.

Old solutions for new problems

For cities, this reimagining of the ground-breaking design school from the early 20th century that seeks to combine aesthetics with functionality means addressing today’s global challenges with a design-based approach.

“The New Bauhaus Initiative is a great tool to bring the European Green Deal to life in our cities and accelerate the transformation to sustainable development across Europe,” said Dario Nardella, Eurocities President and Mayor of Florence, speaking ahead of the event.

Eurocities is a partner to the initiative and will be helping to organise a session at the conference to collect transformative ideas for the New European Bauhaus.

Local perspective

Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib will be representing cities in this panel, but local governments across Europe have their own ideas they would like to share with the Commission. That’s why local conversations will be taking place throughout the Spring to create an outline for this initiative.

For example, Hamburg will join with Aarhus and Trondheim on 29 April to talk about the “urban arena” and how public space can enable sustainable actions.

Five pilot projects will be set up to design sustainable and inclusive solutions before the ideas are shared across Europe and beyond.

For more information, visit the New European Bauhaus conference’s website.